How to Feed 2- to 6-Year-Old Children Responsively in Childcare during COVID-19

Published 2020

This publication is intended to assist childcare and health care practitioners to implement responsive feeding in childcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic while practicing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. COVID-19 challenges mealtime routines and practices. Enhanced hygiene and health expectations for social distancing and meal service are necessary. We offer suggestions for maintaining children’s autonomy and involvement during mealtimes while setting structure and routines for a safe, pleasant mealtime environment. Even though the meal service has changed with COVID-19, the intent of the mealtime remains the same: to create a responsive eating atmosphere. Practitioners still support children through mealtime conversations, food-based sensory exploration activities, and modeling healthy eating. This document is intended for early education and childcare administrators, providers, teachers, cooks, health care consultants, and nutrition professionals, hereafter referred to as staff.

Publication Details


Dipti A. Dev

Madeleine Sigman-Grant

Janice Fletcher

Jill Cox

Emily A. Hulse

Donnia E Behrends


Youth & Families

Food & Nutrition

Publication Date September 08, 2020
Last Revision Date September 08, 2020


Series NebGuide